Atlas O Premier P42 Genesis Locomotive

Amtrak’s Genesis was the first newly designed American passenger diesel in nearly four decades. Beginning in 1993, it replaced Amtrak’s fleet of EMD F40PH diesels, which were really modified freight engines — designed to be resellable in case Amtrak went out of business.

Amtrak’s president at the time was Graham Claytor, a lover of trains who had previously headed the Southern Railway and been Secretary of the Navy. Cesar Vergara, a young industrial designer who was Amtrak’s Manager of Car Design, asked Claytor for the chance to give the new engine a bold new look. The result was unlike anything else on American rails. It launched Vergara into a career of designing new passenger equipment for railroads across North America and around the world, from Talgo trains in the Pacific Northwest to the newest engines today in Boston area commuter service.

Unlike most diesels, whose structural strength comes from a heavy frame, the Genesis features monocoque construction, in which the body shell carries much of the load instead of just going along for the ride. This allows for a lighter frame, less weight overall, and greater fuel economy.

The Genesis is one-third more powerful than the F40PH it replaced, but burns 22% less fuel. Its height is also 14” shorter than its predecessor, allowing it to travel anywhere Amtrak goes, including the tunnels into Penn Station and Grand Central Station in New York. To make the body easy to fabricate and repair, Vergara used only flat surfaces and sections of cylinders and cones; there are no compound curves like those on the “bulldog” nose of older E-units and F-units. The Genesis name, intended to signify a break from past designs, was chosen in an employee contest at General Electric’s Erie, PA plant, which built the locomotives. The design has won several awards, including a Brunel Award, which recognizes outstanding railway designs around the world, and a Presidential Design Award from the U.S. government. The look of the Genesis is not without its detractors, however. Trains magazine contributor Fred Frailey wrote that “the front of a P42 looks like an armored tank, those shallow windows the slits from which the weapons officer gains sight of targets.”

There are actually three versions of the Genesis. The original 1993 version, model P40DC, has 4,000 horsepower and a 103 mph top speed. Under the hood it is basically a 16-cylinder General Electric Dash 8. Model P32AC, introduced in 1995, was designed specifically for service into New York City, where diesel power is prohibited in stations and approach tunnels under the Hudson River. The P32AC is equipped with retractable pickup shoes for drawing power from the electrified third rail into Grand Central and Penn Station.

The third version and the prototype for our Premier model is the P42DC, built from 1996-2001. Over 200 in number, this class of engines is the backbone of Amtrak service everywhere except the electrified Northeast Corridor. Compared with the earlier P40DC, the P42 features an improved engine uprated to 4200 hp, more modern electronics and cab displays, and a higher top speed of 110 mph.

Features Include:

  • Intricately Detailed, Durable ABS Body
  • Die-Cast Truck Sides, Pilots and Fuel Tank
  • Metal Chassis
  • Metal Handrails and Horn
  • Moveable Roof Fans
  • Metal Body Side Grilles
  • Detachable Snow Plow
  • (2) Handpainted Engineer Cab Figures
  • Authentic Paint Scheme
  • Metal Wheels, Axles and Gears
  • (2) Remote-Controlled Proto-Couplers
  • O Scale Kadee-Compatible Coupler Mounting Pads
  • Prototypical Rule 17 Lighting
  • Directionally Controlled Constant Voltage LED Headlight
  • Lighted LED Cab Interiors
  • Illuminated LED Number Boards
  • Lighted LED Front Marker Lights
  • Operating LED Ditch Lights
  • (2) Precision Flywheel-Equipped Motors
  • Operating ProtoSmoke Diesel Exhaust
  • Onboard DCC/DCS Decoder
  • Locomotive Speed Control In Scale MPH Increments
  • 1:48 Scale Proportions
  • Proto-Scale 3-2 3-Rail/2-Rail Conversion Capable
  • Proto-Sound 3.0 With The Digital Command System
  • Featuring Passenger Station Proto-Effects
  • Unit Measures: 18 1/2” x 2 1/2” x 3 3/4”
  • Operates On O-31 Curves (3-Rail)

Check availability of this product on the Atlas Online Store

3-Rail Item# Road Name 2-Rail Item#
April 2024
MSRP 3-rail: $639.95 MSRP 2-rail: $649.95
Metro North MSRP 3-rail: $699.95 Metro North MSRP 2-rail: $709.95
New Paint Schemes!
30138324 Amtrak® P42  – Phase VII 82 (Blue/Red/White) 30138331
30138325 Amtrak® P42  – Phase VII 174 (Blue/Red/White) 30138332
30138326 Metro North - Conrail Heritage 201 (Blue/Yellow) 30138333
30138327 Metro North - MTA FL9  Commemorative 208 (Red/Blue/Silver) 30138334
30138328 Metro North - New York Central Heritage 211 (Gray/White) 30138335
30138329 NJ TRANSIT 4800 (Silver/Orange/Blue/Black) 30138336
30138330 NJ TRANSIT 4802 (Silver/Orange/Blue/Black) 30138337
November 2021
MSRP 3-rail: $619.95 MSRP 2-rail: $619.95
New Model!
30138040 Amtrak® P42 #161 – Phase I 50th (Silver/Red/Black/Blue) 30138070
30138041 Amtrak® P42 #160 – Dash 8 Phase III 50th (Silver/Red/Gray/Blue) 30138071
30138042 Amtrak® P42 #46 – Phase V 50th (Silver/Blue) 30138072
30138043 Amtrak® P42 #108 – Phase VI 50th (Blue/Red) 30138073
30138044 Amtrak® P42 #100 – Midnight Blue 50th (Blue/Red) 30138074
30138045 Amtrak® P42 – Phase V  173 (Silver/Blue) 30138075
30138046 Amtrak® P42 – Phase V  175 (Silver/Blue) 30138076
30138137 Amtrak® 203 Operation Lifesaver 50th Anniversary 30138138